Tag Archives: travel

On The Walk of the Gods

High up, very high up in the hills overlooking the Amalfi Coast is a walk (let’s say vertiginous hike) which threads along the cliffs, past the ghosts of farmhouses and terraces overgrown with grapevines — the grapes warm and sweet if you are tempted — from Praiano to Positano. The walk can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, depending on your pace and fitness, or you can join the path in other mountain towns like Apergo, where you can do a loop in about 2 hours (good if you want to get back to your car without having to take a cab or the bus!). That’s the option we took. We were following famous footsteps:

“Is this the view that from on high along the Path of the Gods, opens to our sight: it is the picture of the great loop of the Amalfi coastline that looks towards the west, towards the Island of Capri, that precipitous coast, steamy, hot, with the crystalline mountains where the gods of today are forsaken and you find a lost self again, Mediterranean, before you.” D. H. Lawrence

As Lawrence intimated, it can get hot up there, so best to wear a hat and sunglasses, slather yourself with high factor sunscreen, bring lots of water (which you can refill from fresh water taps along the way), and opt to do the walk outside of the broiling months of July and August (we did it in September, which was perfect — sunny with a touch of cool breeze wafting up from the coast far, far, far, far below).

It was marvellous.




Escape to Capri

Am just back from a wonderful week down on the Amalfi Coast, with jaunts to Capri, Pompeii and Naples with my lovely Canadian friends Craig and JP. Landing in Naples, I dashed across town on the airport bus to the port (good value) where I met up with them, and we hopped straight onto the ferry to the island of Capri. The sky was blue, the sun was warm, and, it being September, the holiday crowds had thinned. They had booked us a fantastic Air BnB villa in nestled against the hills, with a fantastic view of the town. Once the day trippers caught the last ferry back to Naples at 7pm, the alleyways and town square quietened down, and we enjoyed an evening walk past the tempting shops until the delicious smells wafting from the E’Divino Restaurant beckoned us through their door.

The next day we got up early to explore the island, fortified by frequent stops for frothy cappucinos and lemon granita.










A Weekend in Puglia, Italy – Part 2

On Sunday we headed into the Southern Italian city of Lecce…well, we got there eventually. Our tour bus had a flat tire on the way, so we cooled our heels by the roadside for an hour watching the Formula 500 which is the highway in Italy.

It was another gorgeous December day. And we did what any good tourists do as soon as they get off a tour bus… we headed to a cafe for coffee!

Then in was a leisurely tour around the beautiful city — I got so caught up in photographing the chocolate stalls in the chocolate square (a chocolate square, imagine!!!), that I almost missed the bus out of town. But I was retrieved and we headed off to a fantastic farewell lunch at an olive farm before heading off to the airport in Bari…..got what ended up being a 5 hour wait. Oh well. Still, it was an unexpected treat to spend a couple of days in Italy.


A Weekend in Puglia, Italy – Part 1

italy 82I was lucky enough to be invited down to Puglia, Italy last weekend for a design conference held by the Italian Trade Commission. No need to ask me twice! I packed a carry-on and headed off to Stansted Airport to catch the Ryanair flight to Bari.

After a day meeting Italian suppliers, I got up early on the Sunday morning to catch the beautiful early morning light. I had a walk around the grounds of the lovely hotel Masseria San Domencio in Fasano, and managed to capture some images as the sun was rising.

It’s nice to remember there are places with blue sky in December.

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Newfoundland Flowers

I love photographing flowers, so on my summer trip to Newfoundland I could often be found in a field with my camera, getting close to flowers, not to mention bees, ladybirds, and butterflies. We all get so caught up in the “big picture” in our busy lives, it’s good to remember the beauty of small things.

Fireweed was turning the fields mauve all along the coast.

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And blue dotted the fields everywhere, in irises, harebells, vetch, and, of course, blueberries which were just ripening.

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The heady scent of wild roses wafted over the August fields.

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And white! Labrador Tea, daisy, yarrow, roses….

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Everywhere, just everywhere, beautiful lupins coming into flower.

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Sunny yellow flowers lit up the green fields and covered rocks with summer.

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And every now and then, a touch of red.

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Nature is generous. We should take some time to notice.

A Weekend in and Around Ottawa

So, it was goodbye to New Brunswick and Cuz K, and onto another (very small) airplane to head to Ottawa via Montreal to visit my great friend, Loon, and her boyfriend, Walter. FYI, here’s the plane.

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We spent a lovely day mooching around Ottawa, hitting the market (where we ate the best fresh blueberries and freshly baked bagels) and Parliament Hill, and ending up with some huge pina coladas on the deck of the Baja Grill overlooking Dow’s Lake.

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The next day Loon and I headed across the provincial border to the pretty village of Wakefield, Quebec on the Ottawa River, where we did more mooching, a bit of early Christmas shopping, and eating (at Kaffe 1870). Loon insisted we poke our nose into the famous Black Sheep Inn music venue too before we left. My kind of holiday.

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The next day it was back on the plane to London. I’m already planning my next Canadian jaunt.